Work is an integral part of human life. It is integral because without work life loses its essence. There is no doubt that work adds value to life. Although this is the basic truth, different people view their work differently. In the discussion of why people work, two main reasons are cited; these include earnings and passion (Mercurio & King, 2001). This dichotomy has been at the centre of a perennial debate on what kind of work should people take up. Is it those jobs that pay well or those that bring satisfaction? This essay seeks to explore this question by offering real life experiences. It begins with my own work experiences compared to those of my uncle.
My work experience has been mixed with aspects of love of money and passion. At some point in time, I was at crossroads on what exactly I should do with my life regarding choice of profession. It is usually agreeable that unless one is able to sustain himself or herself, it may be imprudent to continue with such work. In other words, my initial outlook was that of money making venture. Although sometimes I could take up things I did not like, at the back of my mind, it was clear on what I was passionate about. As a result, I vowed that once I got a substantial amount of money, I would revert to doing what gave me more satisfaction in spite of how much it paid. I could therefore say with certainty that my work experience has undergone through a transformation from money-mindedness to vocation-bound.
The question of doing work as a vocation has been intensively discussed by many writers. For instance, Frazier (2009) writes that people find more meaning in life doing things that they love, no matter how insignificant they might seem. On the contrary, those people who are driven by money never find fulfillment in life and end up frustrated with unsatisfied desires of their inner souls. However, the challenge lies in the boldness of taking up something that does not pay well against another that fulfills, but does not pay well. I have learned a valuable lesson from my uncle. He is a well achieved professional and academician. However, he turned down several job offers with the United Nations Development Program and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Instead, he decided to work with local communities in helping them adapt to the challenges of climate change and come up with their homegrown solutions to their problems. For him this was more fulfilling than working at a big office and being attended by many secretaries. He was bold enough to turn down good paying jobs from the very onset. This was contrary to what I experienced: making money first then pursuing what is more fulfilling. From his experience, I was able to learn that the vocation nature of work is very distinct (Rao, 2003). It is usually like a burning desire.
It is clear that people work for many reasons. Moreover, this write up considers fulfillment as the most important reason as to why people should take up certain professions and leave others out. My own experience was mixed with some aspects of love of money and partial passion for what I truly loved. However, my uncle remains steadfast in seeking fulfillment as opposed to merely working for money. This is the true essence of work as a vocation.